Bob Eg­gle­ton

Keep­ing it real The nine-time Hugo Award-win­ning artist on why he prefers things he can touch, things he can feel

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In 2009, my mother passed away very sud­denly and I in­her­ited her house. Rather than sell­ing it for a low price in a bad hous­ing mar­ket, I turned it into a stu­dio – one that func­tioned not just as an art stu­dio, but also with a kitchen and other rooms, so that I’m able to sleep over when work­ing late on a project.

I also have a ship­ping area and a pho­tog­ra­phy area down­stairs. My wife and I had to learn to pho­to­graph our own work, when art pho­tog­ra­phers folded up busi­ness.

I’ve been a pro­fes­sional artist for over 30 years, win­ning nu­mer­ous awards, in­clud­ing the Hugo Award nine times. I work tra­di­tion­ally and have done so through­out my ca­reer. I’ve stayed so busy that do­ing

a dig­i­tal learn­ing curve is some­thing I’ve sim­ply not had time for. That said, we own some­thing like six com­put­ers – mostly for email and pro­cess­ing pho­tographed art via Pho­to­shop, to send to clients fully colour-bal­anced.

I stand when I work, usu­ally at an easel. You see it in the cen­tre of this room, which has north­ern light­ing ex­po­sure. Stand­ing is bet­ter for you, gen­er­ally speak­ing.

The best thing about sep­a­rat­ing where I work from where I live is that I feel like I go to the ‘of­fice’ on a nine-to-five ba­sis. Dur­ing that time, I get things done, which means that I eat and sleep nor­mal hours, un­less I’m su­per busy.

The pic­tures show the main stu­dio. My wife’s also in the same room, off to the ex­treme right. Out­side is a com­pletely un­sus­pect­ing bu­colic neigh­bour­hood. In­side, on can­vas, I cre­ate mon­sters and de­stroy worlds. Bob Eg­gle­ton is one of the most dec­o­rated artists of his gen­er­a­tion, and even has an as­ter­oid named af­ter him. Go and take a look at his work at www.bobeg­gle­ton.com.

My draw­ing ta­ble. I tend to work flat when draw­ing or work­ing with wa­ter­colours or mark­ers, and I work up­right at the easel with oils and acrylics. I also have a TV to watch old sci-fi films on. My work­ing paint area is an old cab­i­net re­pur­posed. There’s no method to my mad­ness – I just find colours that work. Yes, that’s a snooker cue I use as a maul­stick. Works a charm. Brushes ga­lore. There are art ma­te­ri­als, sketches and can­vases every­where you look. I’m al­ways think­ing about a mil­lion things at any one time. The paint­ing is for a cover of a book com­ing out called The Baen Big Book of Mon­sters, an an­thol­ogy about gi­ant mon­sters. Dream job.

Book­cases: there are never enough. There are al­ways new books need­ing cases I don’t have (yet).

On the draw­ing ta­ble, books re­cently used for in­spi­ra­tion are on view, as is a sketch of some­thing

I’m cur­rently work­ing up. Books out­grow book­cases in my world, so they stack up – books about movies and some clas­sic fic­tion books, usu­ally HP Love­craft, Jules Verne and oth­ers. But the art books al­ways oc­cupy the lion’s share of things. I lis­ten to mu­sic and even watch movies when work­ing. I own some­thing like 4,000 CDs and DVDs. I’m old school. I like phys­i­cal things. Some of them can be seen here – and of course, toys that in­spire me on a daily ba­sis.

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